Election Day: A Rundown of Local Races, Candidate Parties

Here we go: T-minus zero to Election Day. First things first, get out and vote. Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. Find your polling place here.

If you're feeling a little out of the loop—like some 40 percent of California voters, who don't even know their governor is seeking another term—NPR compiled a list of widgets and apps that could come in handy today.

While voter turnout is expected to dip to a historic low for a gubernatorial election, partly because incumbents for the state’s highest posts are shoo-ins, Silicon Valley has a lot riding on today. Stay posted through Tuesday evening as San Jose Inside posts live updates and Election Night observations on Facebook and Twitter.

Here's a breakdown of some locals races and where each candidate is expected to spend their night partying/crying into their drink:

San Jose Mayor

In San Jose, union-backed candidates are trying to regain control of the City Council, where outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed and his pension reform allies have held majority control for the past eight years. Councilman Sam Liccardo supported Measure B, which dialed back retirement benefits for city employees, and he's drawn the ire of public safety unions. On the other hand, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese has rallied support from those same unions, promising to end the court fight over the voter-approved 2012 measure and restore pay.

Sam Liccardo Party — Gordon Biersch Brewery, 357 E. Taylor St., San Jose

Dave Cortese Party — Marriott, 301 S. Market St., San Jose

San Jose City Council

Three other council seats are up for grabs. In termed-out Councilman Pete Constant’s District 1, which encompasses San Jose’s west side, retired tech worker Charles “Chappie” Jones is up against labor’s pick, Assemblyman Paul Fong.

Chappie Jones — Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose

Paul Fong — Unknown

District 3, a seat held for the past two terms by Liccardo, mostly consists of downtown San Jose. Vying to replace him are businessman Don Gagliardi and San Jose policeman Raul Peralez.

Don Gagliardi —  Café Stritch/Anno Domini

Raul Peralez — Mezcal, 25 W. San Fernando St., San Jose

With Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen terming out as well, central San Jose’s District 7 is another open seat. The contenders are Franklin-McKinley school board trustee Maya Esparza and attorney Tam Nguyen.

Maya Esparza — Gould Center, 1059 E. Capitol Expressway, San Jose

Tam Nguyen — Viet Voters Office, 1430 Tully Road #408


Also taking center stage is the race for Silicon Valley’s 17th Congressional District, where patent attorney Ro Khanna is trying to unseat seven-term incumbent Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose). Tech executives and investors have poured millions of dollars into Khanna’s campaign, while labor unions have thrown their weight behind Honda.

Ro Khanna — Campaign headquarters, 3200 Coronado Drive, Santa Clara

In the 18th Congressional District, Republican Richard Fox, an attorney from Los Gatos, is challenging Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) in her bid for an 11th term. In the 19th Congressional District, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), is up against another Democrat, Morgan Hill businessman Robert Murray.

State Assembly

For state Assembly, running in District 28 for the seat left by Fong, Campbell Mayor Evan Low is facing off against Saratoga Councilman Chuck Page.

Evan Low — home of Rich Waterman and Bruce Scholes, 1482 Ridgeley Drive, Campbell

In District 25, another open seat with Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) terming out, Democratic San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu is facing off against Republican Bob Brunton.

Kansen Chu — various parties around AD25

Santa Clara County Superior Court

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Diane Ritchie, the beleaguered incumbent who gave up campaigning last month, is trying to hold on to her post against District Attorney Matthew Harris.

Matthew Harris — Silver Creek Sportsplex, 800 Embedded Way, San Jose

Santa Clara Valley Water District

Water politics, usually none too riveting to watch, has garnered more attention this year as Sex.com/Match.com founder Gary Kremen has raised nearly $400,000 to unseat Santa Clara Valley Water District trustee Brian Schmidt. That’s more than five times the amount any candidate’s ever spent on a race for the district, which provides drinking water and flood protection to most of the South Bay.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. I knew Dominic L. Cortese, the father of the current Cortese running for Mayor of San Jose but I have never met the son. His father is a sterling human being and a professional politician who has done wonderful things as a Politician. It’s hard to think that the level of his integrity hasn’t rubbed off on his son. I have listened to his son and believe he will commence to straighten San Jose out and it’s corrupt 15 years to date.

    I disagree in regards to the San Jose Police Department and believe their conduct toward a changing demographic in the last 20 years has created the distain most citizens have for them. The indiscriminate killing of citizens in the last 15 years is deplorable and I know Cortese will bring that under control if elected. The San Jose Police Department needs Administration, Supervision and Prosecution of criminal officers and the hiring and training of new officers protected from the cancerous POA. Maybe Cortese can spend the next 8 years fixing the San Jose Mess and turn off the embezzlement faucet.

  2. Cortese is our only hope to get some of the corruption out of our City Council. Liccardo is another Reed and plans on carrying on his legacy which has destroyed San Jose. Reed has been caught in many lies and misconduct but because of his close relationship to Mercury News, many people don’t know much of what has happened. Our mayor and city council have ruined our people safety and It is my belief that the many lies our mayor and city council has told, has pitted the people against the City workers because the general public is only hearing one side and it is anything but the truth. Liccardo has had his chance and FAILED. We need change. Vote Cortese!

  3. Privilege + raw ambition = scoundrel, that is how I see Sam Liccardo. His supporters tout his academic credentials and prosecutorial background, yet how is it possible for anyone who values integrity and civility not to turn away in disgust when such a man publicly supports the breaking of legal contracts (Measure B) and, as he did in late August, directs inflammatory and reckless accusations toward a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, weeks before the Grand Jury hearing the evidence had even convened?

    What good is a person’s education and experience if it doesn’t produce respect for the law and the legal process?

    If, in a Sam Liccardo world, a legal contract’s value is subject to the arbitrary whims of rulers, then what isn’t? The protection of contracts is recognized as a critical component of civilized society. But not to Sam Liccardo.

    If the legal process that weighs evidence and applies the law is unnecessary before passing judgment and inciting race hatred and distrust of the government (as he did with his loudspeaker before the NAACP), then of what value is evidence or the legal process?

    How is what Sam Liccardo said in front of the NAACP any different than what Klansmen once did when riling up town folks for a lynching? Fanning hatred is fanning hatred, no matter the color of the audience. Same for disregarding the judicial process. Never once did Sam Liccardo claim to have any special knowledge of the Ferguson incident, yet as an elected official of this city he stood before the public and condemned the police of Ferguson, Missouri, and, in his best Al Sharpton impersonation, made it clear with his we-shall-overcome rhetoric that his opinion of the San Jose police department is no different.

    Politicians like Sam Liccardo (and DA Rosen, who supports him) are elitists, so blinded by their own egos they can’t see their own hypocrisy. Vote for him? I wouldn’t wipe my shoes on him.

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